Granting a sit-down interview with Devi Dev and Mr. Rogers of Houston’s 93.7, T.I. spoke about his upcoming album, the recent leak “Stay,” and perception that that song is about his apparently in-flux relationship with wife Tiny.
“I think one of my most diversified albums and I guess the most commercially successful has been Paper Trail,” he said. “I always wanted to do a continuation of that but without saying, ‘Part 2.’ I just tried to figure out another way to relate this next project to that one without making it a sequel. In thinking of other things that I guess had the word ‘paper’ in it, Paperwork was the most prominent title that jumped out at me. As I was getting to think about it, anything that you have that is authentic, let’s say a watch, a car, a phone, whatever it is, the certification of that authenticity is paperwork. Whether it’s a title for a car, deed to a house, a certificate for a Rolex. You gon’ have some kind of certification of authenticity. Me being an artist that’s been known to be authentic and making music that has been known to be authentic, the certification of it is Paperwork.”
On the topic of “Stay,” which the rapper revealed was leaked without permission, T.I. said that it’s “a fictional set of circumstances sprinkled with some reality in it.”
“Actually I didn’t drop the record,” he started. “It leaked. I did a program with Samsung and they asked for one exclusive record off the album before the album. So we gave them that and some kind of way, I think we were expecting for it to remain with Samsung consumers, some kind of way, someone was dishonest. It leaked. I think it’s for the best. As long as the people who wanna hear it get to hear it…As much as I guess people would like to associate it with things that are personal to me, the way that it makes better sense in my mind is if I kind of remove myself from it and just listen to the record and imagine as though I was creating a fictional set of circumstances sprinkled with some reality in it. I guess it’s easier for me to conceptualize it that way. That way it don’t feel like people in my business.”
Addressing his coverage of personal issues in his music, T.I. described the blurring line of what fans think is appropriate to speak to him about online.
“The more people see you, hear you, and I guess feel the more personable that you are, the more they invite themselves to your circumstances,” he said. “[They] offer unwelcomed opinions. I think it comes with the territory…Within the [safeness] of behind their keyboard. It’s not like in person or nothing.”
“I know it’s hard to believe, but we did not plan for these songs to come out at the same time,” she said. “T.I. did not hear my song until the whole world did. He knew nothing about it. I had heard his song and I loved it. But I did not know he was going to release it. So the day I dropped my song, I’m asking to see how it’s doing on iTunes and someone said, it’s doing great—but did you hear T.I.’s new song? And I’m like, what new song?! And it turns out to be ‘Stay.’…At first I was disappointed. I didn’t want my song to be overshadowed by his. But then I realized, this is the way it was supposed to happen. This is God saying our songs should be released at the same time. It was meant to be. T.I.’s song—yeah. I love it. I can’t deny it. I listen to it on repeat. I love that he expressed himself that well. I’ve watched him in the studio and his work ethic is effortless. So to hear him put that energy into something like this…it made me happy. And since we’ve been going through…whatever…to hear that meant a lot to me.”